Council makes first move to slow down motorists

Coun Barry Collins
Coun Barry Collins

Members of the public will get the chance to have their say on council plans to introduce 20mph zones in residential areas across Calderdale.

The council’s cabinet backed the plans at a meeting and will now put three options out for public consultation before a final decision is made.

The three options are:

l Continue with the current scheme of introducing two or more schemes in specific areas of Calderdale;

l Introduce 20mph zones outside all schools only;

l Introduce 20mph schemes in all residential areas.

Cabinet member for economy and environment Coun Barry Collins said: “For months people have made it clear that they want to see action on reducing traffic speeds in the borough.

“It is clear there is a need for Calderdale to work together to keep our roads safe.

“Our preferred option is number three - to make 20mph the default in built-up areas of the borough with signage where the limit is different.

“This has been done up and down the country and will provide a consistent message quickly and cost effectively.”

The indications are that if, after public consultation, the borough-wide option is still favoured it will take three to four years to roll out the scheme.

Council leader Tim Swift said: “It doesn’t do the job if it’s just outside schools.”

Councillor Collins said whichever scheme is chosen it is important there is adequate enforcement from the police.

“Enforcement is critical,” he said. “It was raised very clearly with officers that unless there was adequate enforcement for speed limits they won’t be as effective as they might be.”

Calderdale’s Conservative Group has been leading its own campaign for 20mph zones outside all schools and said members have had overwhelming support for the plans.

Chairman Andrew Tagg said: “We handed out around 16,000 leaflets and 92 per cent of people who responded said they wanted limits around schools while only 57 per cent said they wanted it for all residential areas.

“People tend to pay more attention to these limits around schools where they see signage and with a blanket reduction this might not be as effective.”

The Conservatives survey also found support for the limits around schools to apply 24/7 throughout the year was 61 per cent and around elderly care homes was recorded a 40 per cent.

Coun Collins had said before the meeting: “There is a clear demand for immediate action to reduce traffic speeds across Calderdale. The issue is frequently raised at ward forums, and it’s important that we do everything we can to address the community’s concerns.”

The consultation dates are yet to be finalised but councillors indicated there will be three meetings across Calderdale for people to attend, and via the Council’s website at